My dad and I drove from the Iowa side of the Mississippi River to Cheyenne, Wyoming today.

This meant that we passed through Nebraska.

Nebraska is part of the Great Plains. My dad called it, "the bread-basket of America." The last time that I was here was over ten years ago, probably on a similar road trip.

We stopped for gas at a trucker's stop somewhere between Omaha and Lincoln. At every stop we've made, it's been interesting to look at the various gas station convenience store collections of CD's. Nearly every place since Ohio has had a smattering of classic country, pop country, motown, and crooners like Barry Manilow. Here, next to Lonnie's Roadside Restaurant (or was it Lorrie's? I can't remember exactly which it was), I found several compilations of "Americana" music. What exactly is that? What does it sound like? It piqued my curiosity, but my dad was less interested in buying me CD's than buying me dinner at Lonnie's.

Inside the restaurant were about a half a dozen truckers, and one or two fellow passers-through. My dad ordered an omelette from the all-day breakfast menu, while I got a cheeseburger. It ended up being delicious.

My dad and I listened to Bruce Springsteen's entire album of "Nebraska" while driving through Nebraska. I wondered what it would be like to live here, how different life would be from Western Massachusetts. Would I be able to live here? Would I like it?

At Lonnie's, there was a small bookshelf by the door with stacks of weather-beaten harlequin romance novels and a sign encouraging passers to take, read, and pass it on. I found a book by Naomi Horton called, "Born to be Bad." On the front, there is a picture of a blond girl wrapped in nothing more than a purple bathrobe, scandalously hiked up to reveal her upper thigh. She is leaning back on a shirtless man in blue jeans, the words "Tall, dark and dangerous" floating beneath. The back cover reads:


"The man at the truck stop didn't look threatening. And all he needed was a ride. Still, Holly Triano knew better than to trust a dark, handsome stranger...

"Col Donovan couldn't blame the pretty young widow for refusing to give him a lift. But he was a desperate, hunted man, and she was his only way back to White Poplars, where he would get revenge at last on the man who had framed him for murder.

"One moment, Holly was heading home to her children; the next, she was being kidnapped by an escaped convict. Everything about Col seemed dangerous, but it wasn't fear that made Holly quiver at his touch - it was desire."

I had hoped to use my internet search skills to find the name of the place we stopped, and whether it was Lorrie or Lonnie's restuarant. What I found was a site of travel tips. A few internet waves later, I surfed into an interesting sub-site about Nebraskan Local Customs. One of them seemed to be picking up hitch hikers, which makes Ms. Horton's book even more of a treasure.

1 comment:

  1. There are definitely a lot of good musicians that fall under the "Americana" genre.

    Picking up hitchhikers is always fun, even if they're not escaped convicts. Here's a guy that I picked up:




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